Ireland declares a climate emergency

By making an amendment to a government report on climate action, ‘Climate Change: A Cross-Party Consensus for Action’, Ireland has officially declared a climate emergency. The amendment was accepted without a vote.

It was moved by the Green Party’s climate action spokesman Timmy Dooley. However, when the vote came before the House, it was put forward by Deputy Eamon Ryan as there were only six TDs in the chamber, and none of them were from Fianna Fáil.

“Declaring an emergency means absolutely nothing unless there is action to back it up. That means the government having to do things they don’t want to do.”
~ Eamon Ryan, Green Party leader

Ryan called the decision “historic”. The Green Party leader said: “We have declared a climate emergency in our own Irish way.” The government climate action report is based on a report and recommendations from a Citizens’ Assembly, ‘How the State can make Ireland a Leader in tackling Climate Change’.

Media coverage

→ Irish Examiner – 9 May 2019:
Government declares climate emergency
“Ireland has become the second country in the world to declare a climate emergency.”

→ BBC News – 9 May 2019:
Climate change: Ireland declares climate emergency
“The Republic of Ireland has declared a climate and biodiversity emergency.”

→ – 9 May 2019:
What does the Dáil’s declaration of a climate emergency actually mean?
“Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said this move will put pressure on the government to be more ambitious with its policies.”

→ The Guardian – 10 May 2019:
Irish parliament declares climate emergency
“The Irish Green party leader, Eamon Ryan, who moved the amendment, called the decision “historic”.”

→ The Washington Post – 10 May 2019:
Ireland and Britain declare climate emergencies, but will it make a difference?
“Ireland became the second country on Thursday to declare a climate emergency, following Britain’s lead earlier this month. Both the Irish and British declarations are largely symbolic and do not force governments to take specific actions to increase biodiversity or pursue more emissions cuts than previously planned.”


List of Irish councils and regions

→ Cedamia: CED regions in Ireland
List of local council and regions in the Republic of Ireland that have declared a climate emergency, in chronological order.